Call it a recession. Call it an economic downturn. Call it the Octomommy ain't got no money. I don't care. All I know is whatever you call it, I sorta like what's taking place across the country.
You heard me right. I'm a little tickled pink about poverty and I don't care who knows it.
Here's the deal. I was born a poor, white child in the foothills of North Carolina. How poor were we? We ate mayonnaise on crackers as snacks; we frequently wore hand me downs; and in lieu of store bought toys, we got our jollies by pinching the asses off lightening bugs (fireflies)and sticking them to ourselves and others.
In a nutshell, we dressed funny, smelled vaguely like mayonnaise and looked like we had nuclear chicken pox. We weren't exactly at the top of the guest lists on the birthday party circuit.
Throughout my life and despite my best efforts I've never quite been able to break away from my southern upbringing and "po folks" origin. Oh sure, I can afford peanut butter crackers if I want now and I almost never rip the ass off of anything and stick it to myself any more, but the truth is I still live my life just one or two paychecks away from having to wear shoes that my mentally challenged cousin outgrew.
And you should know he has never been known for his stylish footwear.
But now that stock prices have plummeted and the price of crude oil is nearing the price of vegetable oil, I'm feeling a little less self conscious about Ford Focus driving, coupon clipping, clearance aisle shopping, close to poverty lifestyle. It's not that I want anyone to be as poor as me. I'm not that wicked a woman. I just want them to be almost as poor as me.
Because as you have probably always suspected on some level, I am at least that wicked.
I think maybe I'd like people to be not quite rich enough to charter a private jet, but still with enough money to bail me out of jail if I am arrested for public indecency. (Not purposeful indecency mind you, but if my boobs keep on the course they have set for themselves, I fear they may randomly fall out the bottom of my shirt.)
My ex-wife-in-law and BFF (who may kill me if she actually reads this) is one of the people who sadly is being adversely affected by the declining price of oil. In our relationship she's been the Daddy Warbucks to my Annie. She owns many fantastic things that I do not: honking diamonds, lots of vehicles, multiple houses, and credit cards in an assortment of colors.
Don't get me wrong. She is generous to a fault and has never flaunted any of her toys in a way that would make me hate her or commit felony arson. When we go out to eat, she always somehow manages to get the check and for some inexplicable reason over the years, she's had a pretty insane addiction to cleaning out her house and then backing trucks up to my house with stuff "that's just going to get thrown out anyway...so you'd really be doing me a favor."
Only now the tables have turned a bit.
Although she's definitely not poor enough to make me feel superior, (which I might like to feel at least once in my life...to anyone or anything), her funds have decreased just enough so that I suspect she may be calling soon to ask for my Daddy's famous fried snipe recipe.
Snipe: the other white meat.
I guess this all sounds a little mean spirited when you get right down to it and that's not what I want at all. I love all my friends - red and yellow, black and white, poor and rich and wound too tight. (Rhyming: free with every third humor column you purchase. Reference to childhood Sunday school song: priceless.)
No way I would want anyone any where to wind up on the soup line and Lord knows I wouldn't wish the humiliation of having to wear used hip waders to dollar mountain oyster night at McDonald's (or their prom) on anyone. But I will admit that maybe it would be kind of nice in this country if everyone was forced to be a little less about the bling and the things and a lot more about what's on the inside.
You know what I mean. The heart and soul of a person...and guts and stuff.
Copyright © Sherri Bailey
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This town is just a few miles from where I grew up. The food featured here (Mack's liver mush) is the best stuff you'll ever get a hold of and something I ate all the time my whole life until I moved away. The TV guy is pronouncing it wrong though! The accent of everybody else though is HOME. I miss it.